The challenge, according to Planning and Zoning Administrator Ron Goss, was to keep the construction costs within the project’s budget, which was set in 2009 and 2010. Prices have risen since then, forcing Goss to break some contracts down into smaller components to create cost savings.
In a contract with Momon Construction of Calhoun to build the park’s two buildings, Goss resorted to directly purchasing building materials from the suppliers, under the city’s name, to save $9,000 in sales tax.
Euharlee, as approved by the city council, will buy $62,000 of concrete and $56,000 of masonry for Momon’s use. Then the city will pay Momon $776,176.15 to build both structures. By going straight to the suppliers in such a way the contract stayed within the park’s budget. Any extra materials needed, including additional concrete or masonry, will come out of Momon’s pocket under this contract.
Goss also noted the brick will come from a supplier in Floyd County, as he was trying to use as many local or nearby suppliers as possible.
A joint contract with Musco Lighting and North Cobb Electrical Services of Kennesaw was approved in the sum of $609,408. It covers the installation of lighting for the baseball and multi-use fields. While the total cost included a $50,000 discount the three parties had worked out, it was still over the budgeted amount.
Goss provided the council with three options: approve the contract for both fields, approve the contract for both fields with the option of revoking it within 30 days or approve lighting for only the baseball field.
Goss was concerned, however, that the city may never install the second set of lights if it was postponed.
“Do you commit and say we’re going to do this park 100 percent, get it finished, do it right and keep our operating cost low, or are we going to start cutting corners that may bite us down the road? That’s a decision I can advise you on, but you have to decide that,” he said.
Mayor Kathy Foulk supported the idea of completing the park and not putting off any installations.
“My feelings on this park is: do it. Do it right the first time and if it winds up costing a bit more and then saves you money in the long run, you’re done. We wind up too many times making a decision on something and then go back and fix it,” she said. “I don’t want to do that with this park. The citizens out here have been waiting a long time for it. Let’s do it up right. That’s my personal feelings on it.”
Goss said the budget overage on the park would likely amount to 2 percent of the entire project. However, he did not have the final amounts for the field surfacing or irrigation system. He described the attempt to dig wells “a disappointment,” as only two gallons of water came out of one well and five gallons of mud out of the other.
The city likely will pull water out of Euharlee Creek to irrigate the park, but it has not worked out a route for the pipeline.
Multiple contracts were approved with B&M Grading, which will bore and trench pathways for the planned lights along the park’s walking trail. It was another example of Goss’s cost savings.
By contracting out the trenching for the electric lines, Goss was able to save approximately $30,000 in a contract with Georgia Power, which will install and maintain the trail’s lights. The contract with Georgia Power came to $103,857, while the boring and trenching contract with B&M came to $8,685. In total, Goss said he saved the city around $20,000 by breaking up that project.
B&M also will clear out underbrush around the trail’s path for $6,000 and build a box culvert bridge for the walking trail in the sum of $7,000. The additional contracts were necessary for B&M to do the boring and trenching job.
Goss also asked the council to consider a Foreclosure Registry Ordinance, which would require property owners to register any foreclosed property 100 days after the foreclosure is announced at the courthouse.
“From what I can see, there’s no disadvantage to the city. All it does is it really gives us the ability to enforce the ordinance on the books and know who to go to in order to enforce it. That’s basically what it boils down to. You foreclose on a property, you have to list it on the register,” Goss said.
The fee for listing a home on the registry must fall between $25 and $100, according to state law. When the ordinance is approved, the council will set the fee amount.
Other council business included:
• approving the position of museum curator, whose salary will not exceed $35,000;
• approving the sewer project design;
• approving usage of city buildings for the Footprints of the Heat organization;
• approving usage of city buildings for the Ghost Tour in October;
• hearing an update from Animal Control on its operating procedures;
• approving payment of a $7,235.63 invoice from Bartow County Animal Shelter;
• approving payment of two invoices for sewer repairs around city hall for $749.45 and $922.13;
• hearing the first reading of an amendment to the alcohol ordinance allowing Sunday sales;
• approving a request from Goss for funds to attend a planning and zoning conference in Helen in a sum not to exceed $500; and
• approving monthly Joe Cowan Park project payables in the total sum of $42,057.99.
The Euharlee City Council’s next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 21, at 7 p.m. at city hall. A called meeting is planned to be held before the scheduled meeting, and it will see the second reading of the alcohol ordinance amendment and second reading of the foreclosure ordinance.